Re: Re: Nominations Now Open: What Annoys You Most?

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Edward
Participant

Hopelessly hopeful – 2009-09-05 6:56 PM

Jamesaritchie – 2009-09-05 12:11 PM

No, I wouldn’t think you jumped and ran out teh door at the same time because it’s impossible to do both those things at once.  Nevertheless, that’s what you;re saying, and if you list a series of events that can be done at the same time, I’m going to assume they are being done at teh same time if teh writer says they are, and that’s just what “and” alone does.  It’s never a good idea to write with the excuse “they know what I mean.”
It isn’t about agreement or disagreement.  That’s what “and” means by the rules of grammar.  Sure, many writers ignore the rule at times, but usually only when the meaning is clear, I do sometimes, as well.   But using “and then” is still proper grammar, and has nothing to do with style. 
“Authorial intrusion” simply has nothing to do with it, either way.

Precisely.  When it is utterly impossible for two things to be done simultaneously, and the author still uses “and then,” I feel they are intruding to the point of thinking that the reader is an idiot.  As in, “just in case you didn’t know that a person cannot run and jump simultaneously, I’m going to add this extra word to make sure you get it.”  It may not be improper grammar, but it is annoying none-the-less.  And it is possible to list a sequence of actions that could possibly be done simultaneously without using “and” or “then.”  This is what I prefer to read.  And honestly, to do it that way requires a bit more thinking and artistry. 

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Why use “and then”? Would it not be proper to just use “then”?

The man jumped into the car, then slammed his foot on the gas.